After a slow burn of increasing upset with Berlin festival director Dieter Kosslick, French sales, financing and distribution outfit Wild Bunch has declared that it is boycotting the EFM and declaring a 'period of sanction' on its films in future Berlin competitions.

The company has cancelled its market stand and, in its inimitable style, has made its own home - a purpose-built cabana on a piece of land strategically located between Potsdamer Platz and Martin Gropius Bau which will bear a billboard for all passersby to see that reads, 'Dieter Kosslick's Video Club.'

Maraval explains that after years of what he considers mistreatment by Kosslick, Wild Bunch will remove itself on 'principle and not just a whim.'

He added that, despite having close working relationships with other festival directors like Cannes' Thierry Fremaux and Venice's Marco Muller ('With Muller and Fremaux we talk all year, it's an ongoing collaboration'), he has never spoken to Kosslick save for a chance meeting 'that lasted ten seconds in a hallway.'
Dieter Kosslick refused to comment on the story yesterday

Maraval cited several 'incidents of 'general upset' including anger over the inclusion on the 2005 jury of a sales agent [Wouter Barendrecht from Fortissimo Films] and an 11th hour decision last year to reject Mohsen Makhmalbaf's Sex And Philosophy.

EFM director Beki Probst, who Maraval says is highly regarded by Wild Bunch, took note of the company's upset at the time and a meeting between Kosslick and Maraval was eventually set up in Paris. But, the rendez-vous was cancelled and Kosslick, says Maraval, never told him personally nor made any other attempt to contact him.

When Wild Bunch title Moliere was rejected by Kosslick for Berlin this year, Maraval says that he was informed of the decision by Unifrance.

'We are not a video club, when we go to a festival it is part of our promotional strategy,' said Maraval. 'If Unifrance knows before me and then tells people why a film wasn't accepted, then I'm not able to manage the film. I have to explain to distributors why films aren't taken but with Kosslick we don't talk at all so we put our films in danger without an explanation.'